The shock result was hailed as one of the most unbelievable seen in Championship football at that time; Dublin entered the game as heavy favourites to take the Sam Maguire Cup over the River Liffey. Wild scenes were reported throughout the country for many months afterwards.
Donegal's triumph over the citizens inspired many other counties with little success at that time, including Derry, Armagh and Tyrone, to believe they could achieve the All-Ireland - these three counties achieved their dream in the next eleven years. Donegal's march to the title was still regarded nationally as an "almost mystical expedition", all those years later, until the arrival of the yet more enigmatic and impressive Jim McGuinness, who surpassed even this achievement.
With Donegal playing into the Hill 16 end in the first half, Martin McHugh missed an early free kicking to the right before Charlie Redmond opened the scoring for Dublin in the third minute from a free. Dublin scored another point before Martin McHugh hit the post, with the rebound being put over the bar by James McHugh for Donegal's opening score. After eight minutes Dessie Farrell was pushed when running in on goal, the resulting penalty taken by Charlie Redmond was kicked high and wide to the right. At half time Donegal had a 0-10 to 0-7 lead.
In the second half Manus Boyle kicked over his sixth point of the match from a free to give Donegal a 0-13 to 0-8 point lead. Declan Bonner kicked left footed his fourth point and Donegal's final point to leave the final score at 0-18 to 0-14.
The winning team boarded the train westwards, trundling through the midlands towards the wilderness of Sligo, intent on embarking from there by coach bound for Donegal Town. However, crowds gathered at train-stops in Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Leitrim and Sligo to gawk in awe at the team that had put Dublin to the sword. 9,000 people were waiting in Sligo alone. It was many hours behind schedule when the team arrived in their home county.
^Dervan, Cathal (23 September 2012). "Shay: I'd trade it all for Croker medal: I'd swap it all for All-Ireland medal". The Sun. Retrieved 23 September 2012. "“I was in the Canal End when we won in 1992 and ended up invading the pitch with the Donegal fans after we beat Dublin. That was one of the best days of my life. A Donegal victory again today would be right up there with that and whilst I'd love to be out there on the pitch, I'll do my best to be Donegal's number one fan now.”"